June 6, 2016
Three teams from our state made regionals in the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament. Two of those teams, Mississippi State University and University of Mississippi, hosted regionals, and the University of Southern Mississippi traveled to the Tallahassee Regional.
By early Sunday afternoon, just one team was left standing. MSU lives to play this weekend while USM and UM saw their seasons end. In case you missed it, here is a quick recap of Mississippi’s regional action.
The Rebels might have had the two toughest losses in regional play last weekend. In its first game against the University of Utah, UM held a 5-2 lead after five innings.
At the top of the sixth inning, Utah scored three runs to tie the game at 5-5 after six full innings played. The score stayed tied as the game headed into extra innings.
Utah added a run at the top of the 10th inning to take a 6-5 lead. The Rebels got a base runner in their half of the 10th but failed to bring the runner home, giving Utah the 6-5 win.
That defeat sent UM to the losers’ bracket of the Oxford Regional. The Rebels would have needed a win against Tulane University to stay alive.
Things looked good for the Rebels against the Green Wave as they were up 5-4 heading into the top of ninth inning. All UM had to do was get three outs to keep its season going.
The Rebels got the first batter in the ninth to grounded out for the first out of the inning. Tulane earned a walk with its next batter to put the tying run on base.
The next Green Wave batter hit a two-run home run to left field, giving Tulane a 6-5 lead after the Rebels got two more outs. UM came to bat in the bottom of the ninth but could only manage one base runner before a fielder’s choice ended the game.
The loss ended the season for the Rebels. Boston College ended up winning the regional and will meet the University of Miami from Florida in the Super Regional.
Things started off well for Southern Miss in the Tallahassee Regional. The Golden Eagles began play against the University of South Alabama.
USM jumped to a 3-0 lead before exploding for 11 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 14-0 lead over the Jaguars. South Alabama scored two runs in the top of ninth, but the Golden Eagles won 14-2.
That set up a match against Florida State University in the winner's bracket. USM scored a 2-0 lead in the top of first inning, but FSU struck back with three runs in the bottom of the second inning.
The Seminoles tacked on four more runs to beat the Golden Eagles 7-2 and sent them to the loser’s bracket. USM would have needed to defeat South Alabama again to earn the right to face FSU in the regional title game.
Southern Miss got off to another good start with a 4-0 lead after five full innings played. A weather delay stole some of the Golden Eagles momentum in the middle of the game.
Then, the wheels came off for USM in the bottom of the sixth, as the Jaguars scored six runs to take a 6-4 lead.
South Alabama added a run in the bottom of the seventh to make it a 7-4 game. Southern Miss tried to rally at the top of ninth and score a run to cut the USA lead to two before the Jaguars closed the door for the 7-5 win.
That loss eliminated USM and ended its season. FSU went on to defeat USA 18-6 to win the regional and will face the University of Florida in the Super Regional.
Mississippi State opened the Starkville Regional against Southeast Missouri State University. The Redhawks took a 4-1 lead in the top of the third before the Bulldogs answered with three runs to tie the game at 4-4 after three full innings.
The Redhawks took the lead again at 5-4 when they scored a run in the top of sixth inning. MSU responded by scoring three runs to take a 7-5 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, MSU added two runs to pad its lead at 9-5 and closed the door on Southeast Missouri State in the ninth. The win sent the Bulldogs to the winners’ bracket to face California State University, Fullerton.
MSU went on top 1-0 through six innings as they kept the Titans off the scoreboard. The Bulldogs added two more runs in the top of seventh to take a 3-0 lead before Fullerton got a run back in the bottom of the frame.
In the top of the eighth, MSU upped the lead to 4-1 before closing out the Titans in the final two innings. The 4-1 win sent the Bulldogs to the regional title game.
Since the Bulldogs were undefeated, it meant that they would have to lose twice before they were eliminated. MSU took on Louisiana Tech University in the title game.
MSU allowed just two hits as Louisiana Tech committed three errors in the game. In the battle of Bulldogs, it was MSU that came out on top with a 4-0 win just before midnight.
Mississippi State now awaits the winner of the Lafayette Regional. In that regional, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is undefeated and will play the University of Arizona in the title game today, June 6.
The Wildcats will have to beat the Ragin’ Cajuns twice if they want to advance to the Super Regionals against MSU. Lafayette needs just one more win in the opening game, which airs at 1 p.m. on ESPN3.